Spain see off Russia for seventh Under-19 crown
Sunday, 19 July 2015
Spain 2-0 Russia
Borja Mayoral's first-half goal was added to by substitute Matías Nahuel late on in Katerini as Spain made it seven Under-19 triumphs.
Article top media content
• Spain claim seventh Under-19 title in 14 years by beating Russia
• Borja Mayoral's header finally rewards Spain's first-half dominance (39)
• Substitute Matías Nahuel adds clinching second (78)
• Superlative display from Russia goalkeeper Anton Mitryushkin not enough
• Russia fail in bid to become first team to win Under-17s and U19s
Spain claimed the UEFA European Under-19 Championship for the seventh time as a masterful first-half display laid the foundation for victory against Russia in Katerini, Borja Mayoral breaking the deadlock just before half-time and substitute Matías Nahuel adding a clinching second late on.
Beaten 3-1 by Russia on matchday two, Spain started looking determined not to allow their opponents settle and Anton Mitryushkin scooped out Jorge Meré's tenth-minute volley from a corner – the start of a busy evening's work for the goalkeeper. In the shadow of Mount Olympus, Mitryushkin then made a fine double stop to deny the Spain centre-back again, keeping out his header from a corner and then pushing away the follow-up effort with the ball adjudged not to have crossed the line.
Spanish corners were causing all sorts of problems and from just that route, Mayoral collected possession and thundered a shot against the crossbar. Mikel Merino then prodded wide with Mitryushkin beaten on both occasions – though the goalkeeper then produced a five save to keep out Marco Asensio's near-post effort.
The goalkeeper made another fine stop in the build-up to the goal, although this time his luck was out. Dani Ceballos set Borja away down the right and Asensio collected his pass and curled a shot goalwards. Mitryushkin touched it on to the crossbar, but Mayoral was left with a simple headed finish.
The start of the second half was much more even, although Mitryushkin was again called upon just past the hour, scrambling across his line to block from Pedraza, before adding Dani Ceballos to the growing list of Spanish players he had foiled.
Russia, however, had not been able to show sufficient attacking threat themselves, and Spain wrapped up victory – and a record-extending seventh Under-19 triumph with 12 minutes left. Again Asensio was the architect, his pass setting Nahuel racing clear; the substitute's finish was assured, and so was victory.